As many a mom can attest, our weeknights can get a little haywire! There are many nights that feel like they have snuck up on me while being super project-oriented for Zest during the day. Hahaha, like clockwork, my phone starts lighting up with texts as soon as my kids are done with school. Then I find myself balancing work and managing kiddos at high speeds…and then there are all the extra curricular activities! Yep, as soon as I am done with work, I am not done with work. Instead, the balancing act is in full swing. I love it, because someday I know I will desperately miss the busyness. The helping with homework, the driving to soccer, water polo and ballet, and even the prized position as ref between sibling squabbles.
In this crazy world that I live in as mom and entrepreneur, one of the things that I cherish most is time around the table with my family of five. I am not going to polish things and pretend that I am a June Cleaver or anything (yep, that was an unabashed “Leave it to Beaver” reference), but I do try my darnedest to get dinner on the table in the midst of our busy weeks. Yes, there have been days when delivery pizza was all I could muster, but my goal is always home cooked. There is just something redemptive about a home cooked meal around the table when everyone’s lives have them running every-which-way the rest of the day. However, to get the job done, I often times turn to my crockpot. I cannot express the relief (and even joy) I feel when I come home from a long day and remember that I already made dinner! Hahaha I love it!
This chili recipe is super basic, but it’s a family favorite around here! The best part is that it’s truly a dump, mix and walk away type of meal. Gotta love a meal that is nutritive, low in calories, and painless to make. It is a win-win for the new year! It’s pretty basic, but my “secret” ingredient is cocao for a deeper flavor…and then letting it simmer away all day in the crockpot while I am at work makes it even better!
Not only does this make an awesome midweek dinner of a bowl of chili with all the toppings, but you can save leftovers for a second dinner of loaded baked potatoes. If you are not big on chili twice in a week, just bag up the leftovers and freeze for when you find yourself in a pinch. You will love yourself later for being prepared for the unexpected!
When it comes to flavor, the heat of this chili makes it a winner with kids and adults. The subtle spice is very much mellowed by the sweet earthiness of the cocao. I am telling you, a crockpot full of this stuff is going to feel like a big bear hug at the end of your crazy day! Now….maybe worry about the dishes tomorrow morning LOL
This healthy weeknight dinner whips up easily in the crockpot. It is loaded with protein, and super cozy for the end of a busy day.
- 1 lbs ground turkey or chicken
- 1 onion chopped
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 2 can vegetarian refried beans
- 1 can crushed tomato
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1 tbsp Lawry's garlic salt
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp cumin
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- chopped scallions, optional topping
- avocado, optional topping
- sour cream, optional topping
Add all the ingredients to your crockpot and give it a quick stir to combine.
Adjust your crockpot to low for 6-8 hours, depending on your need.
At the end of the cooking time, give your chili a final stir and taste it for seasoning. Add more salt if needed. Serve with avocado, chopped scallions, and some sour cream (if ya wanna splurge).